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New Ferguson Business Fund To Be Announced

Jerome Jenkins business, Ferguson
Maria Altman | St. Louis Public Radio

A private relief fund for businesses affected by the looting and violence in Ferguson will be announced Thursday.

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander will be in Ferguson Thursday morning for the announcement of #FergusonRebuild. The initiative is in partnership with the Regional Business Council and North County Incorporated.

The non-governmental grants will help businesses in Ferguson, Dellwood and Jennings.

"We have a lot of work to do in Ferguson and the surrounding area, but one of the first things we need to focus on is helping North County businesses that were damaged, destroyed or burglarized since August return to serving their community," Kander said in a statement.

Kander said the initiative would be privately funded with no state or federal tax dollars.

Earlier this fall, no-interest loans were made available to Ferguson-area businesses through the Small Business Relief Program. The $1 million program is funded by the state of Missouri, the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, St. Louis Regional Chamber, and a coalition of banks including Pulaski Bank, Commerce Banks, and Enterprise Bank & Trust.

The program was later extended to businesses along South Grand Boulevard in St. Louis after protests erupted over the police shooting of Vonderritt Myers, Jr. in the Shaw neighborhood.

Another business assistance program, The Reinvest North County Fund, has been privately funded. It’s offering grants to small businesses of up to $5,000 to help with lost inventory, structural damage and business retention.

The announcement of the #FergusonRebuild initiative will take place Thursday at 10 a.m. at Cathy’s Kitchen in Ferguson.

Follow Maria on Twitter: @radioaltman

Maria is the newscast, business and education editor for St. Louis Public Radio.

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